fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Godwin Emefiele." <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 May 2019 18:06:33 +0400
Subject: Hello Dear.
Accept my apologies for this unexpected e-mail but my issue requires urgent
attention and I need your participation. I am a legal counsel to very
wealthy Oil Merchant from USA named Usman Bello who died some years ago in
Africa country. This gentleman died leaving a fix deposit of $15.500
(fifteen million five hundred United States Dollars) with a major Africa
Bank which I will disclose to you as you indicate your readiness to work
I have a very water-tight and sound plan to present you as his next-of-kin
to claim his account balance based on the fact that you are a foreigner
which position you easily as his rightful relation. As the account balance
is released to you, we shall therefore split the funds between ourselves.
Kindly get back to me through my secured and private email (
firstname.lastname@example.org); if you are interested within the next 48 hours.
I will intimate you with more details soon and steps to follow as I await
your swift reply. Please do include your direct phone number in your
response; I will call you to discuss the modalities with you.
Mr Godwin Emefiele.